The festive season always brings around excitement – the tasty food, seasons greetings, staff parties, and pretty lights, to name a few. For many people, Christmas begins by setting up the Christmas tree and other festive decorations. It’s an exciting experience encouraging bonding with the rest of the family.
Unfortunately, this can’t last forever. After the festivities are over and we’ve moved into the new year, there comes the point where having decorations up is just a bit tacky. On the flip side, if you take down your decorations too early, you risk being called “Scrooge.”
So, where’s the sweet spot between awkward and eager? In this article, we’ll discuss the perfect time to start taking down your Christmas decor and how best to store them in preparation for next year!
When Should I Start Taking Down My Christmas Decorations?
Trust in Tradition
When it comes down to big decisions (like deciding when to put your Christmas tree away), it helps to look to the past. Although different cultures have different ‘rules,’ a majority of people agree that Christmas decorations should stay until the “Twelfth Night.” You may have heard about the ‘Twelfth Night’ in the famous Christmas song, “12 Days of Christmas,” but you might not know what it’s about!
The 12 Days of Christmas are the days following Christmas Day, and they all have their special significance in celebrating different saints. Some denominations start counting the 12 days from Boxing Day, while others start counting from Christmas Day.
Therefore, the Twelfth Night falls on the 5th or 6th of January every year, which is also known as the Epiphany, depending on whom you’re asking.
What is the Epiphany?
January 6th (or 5th) is the official end of the festive season, known as the Epiphany. The tradition has existed in Christian communities for centuries, celebrating the arrival of the Three Wise Men, the Three Kings, or the Magi with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It is believed that the 12 days mark the amount of time it took for the wise men to travel to Bethlehem, where they recognized Jesus as the son of God.
Different cultures celebrate Christmas differently. However, it’s primarily based around the Epiphany. For example, in Italy, gifts are exchanged on the 6th of January. In general, the Epiphany is recognized as the end of Christmas festivities and an appropriate time to put away your Christmas tree.
You can keep a few decorations up if that’s what you fancy (we don’t judge) but be warned; according to some people, it’s considered bad luck to leave them up for too long after the Twelfth Night!
What to do With Your Christmas Decorations
Now that we’ve established when you should start taking down Christmas decor, let’s talk about how. As a rule, you should first check for and remove any broken or damaged items, dust off good decorations, and pack them away into clearly labeled storage boxes. We’ve divided the best Christmas decor storage ideas based on popular items to make it easier for you.
If you own an artificial Christmas tree, investing in a suitable storage bag makes sense. No more dusty Christmas trees or ugly boxes in the attic! Large concrete form tubes and some twine are great low-cost alternatives!
Nothing’s worse than opening your Christmas decoration box after a year and finding broken ornaments. That’s why this tiered ornament box is the perfect choice to ensure that your beloved decorations remain intact until next Christmas.
It’s not Christmas without dueling with tangled festive lights – but what if I told you there were better ways? Spool organizers are available in all sizes and at low costs, keeping your string lights tidy and ready for use. For an even simpler option that involves recycling some gift boxes, wrap your string lights around a piece of cardboard with notches cut into it when you’re ready to start taking down Christmas decor.
Wreaths and Garlands
A simple solution to keeping your decorations dust-free and ready for next Christmas is to make use of regular clothes hangers. You can insert the wreaths into heavy-duty garbage bags and hang them in your closet or garage, saving money and space!
If you’re going all out with your holiday display decorating your yard, the best storage ideas for your outdoor Christmas decor are these storage covers. The covers are water-resistant polyester and come in three different sizes, making them perfect for large outdoor decor.
Wrapping up Christmas
In summary, the Epiphany is the most trusted day to take down your Christmas tree and other large decorations. Some smaller items, like lights and tinsel, can stay up a little longer unless you’re superstitious.
Next Christmas begins at this one’s packing phase, so always remember to pack intelligently to prevent finding broken items next year!
When do you put away your Christmas decorations, and what are your favorite storage hacks? We’d love to know down in the comments!